Most Fellows I talk to on a regular basis look forward to Fridays. Honestly, most people I know look forward to Fridays, but for Challenge Fellows, and me personally, Fridays represent a shift in the week from working on whatever projects kept me busy at my host company since Monday, toward whatever the current challenge is that I’ve likely, at least more than I should have, neglected since the previous weekend. But it’s not just a professional shift where we try to move quickly to deliver a thoughtful, viable solution to a partner’s needs in 5 weeks. It’s a chance to connect with the people I wish I got to work with more often on those Mon-Thurs projects. I don’t mean this as a diss to my co-workers, far from it. They’re an incredibly talented and inspiring bunch. I only mean to say that I work really well with a number of fellows and I’ve come to appreciate their perspective, skills, and presence, and I see dangerously awesome potential if we should come together on a project of our choosing. But anyways, back to Fridays.
Fridays trend toward overly-structured schedules that can get quite tedious, often making us question if this or that activity or meeting is truly the best use of our time. But in the gaps between the mandatory ideation sessions and report outs, two kinds of magic happen: problem solving and friendship.
One particular problem that friends and I discussed shuffling between some structured slots of time was ironically: “How do we get more unstructured time together on Fridays?”
Our prototype answer: Early Morning Coffee. So for about 6 weeks we met at 7:30am at Will Leather Goods or Great Lakes Coffee Roasters for an hour and a half of unstructured coffee and friendship time that often turned into valuable conversations about life or tackling some issue we faced on that particular challenge or at our host companies.
After what we deemed a pretty darn successful hack of the structured Friday, we decided to up the ante and start having small breakfast gatherings, just 3 or 4 of us, because if coffee and friendship is good, then bacon, eggs, coffee, and friendship is better. Science.
It didn’t take long for word of our little “breakfast club” to spread and in a matter of a few weeks we had crews as large as 10 people showing up at 7am to cook a veritable feast, share stories and laughs before we even started the official day.
Simple egg and bacon breakfasts evolved into multi-course, multi-chef meals. Certain uninvited spices made their way into scrambled eggs. It’s OK Peter. I’ve learned to accept you and all the spices that brings. A single French press can no longer handle our coffee demands. There’s never much fuss about who brings what. People bring what they bring and we cook it into deliciousness. The average breakfast crew now fluctuates between 5 and 7 regulars and it is by far and away my favorite part of Challenge Detroit. So if your Fridays need a boost, invite some friends over for breakfast.